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Frederick Rhine vs David Sprenkle
"Sparkling Rhine" (game of the day Sep-26-2023)
Master Challenge III (1981), Forest Park, IL USA, rd 2, Jun-20
Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch Variation. Main Line (B29)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 1 more F Rhine/D Sprenkle game
sac: 29.Rh8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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<qqdos> Interesting.

And quite right. Not only did our man beat the stronger player in the similar game, but in <FSR's> case there was a larger gap in the respective ratings.

This game is deserving of notice in Chess Informant, no doubt about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <qqdos>, see <FSR>'s remarks from January of '12; I also recall this game from Informator.
Nov-25-20  qqdos: <perfidious>, <jessica> and <FSR> Yes, Informant found this game in 1981 but 3 years earlier failed miserably to discover the Theoretical Novelty that virtually killed off the main line of an entire variation [B29]. Craig Pritchett was a former champion of Scotland, playing in the 1978 Olympiad and produced a splendid miniature of considerable significance! as revealed above by <Honza>. He (Craig) deserves recognition. Full marks to FSR for his game and the "notoriety" he earned and he may be saddened to learn that he has now lost his number one ranking as destroyer in chief of my pet Nimzo-Sicilian. All is forgiven as attention now switches to Craig, who played and won 3 games down this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <qqdos> As I mentioned in the commentary to Unzicker vs O Sarapu, 1970, I learned of 18.Nxd6! in David Neil Lawrence Levy 's notes to Gligoric vs Larsen, 1959 in his book <Gligoric's Best Games 1945-1970>. I had also seen it in the pamphlet <Sicilian Defence 4: Unusual Second Moves for Black> by Leonard M Pickett.

I learned of C W Pritchett vs E Gonzales, 1978 and C W Pritchett vs P Ostermeyer, 1980, which also predated my game, from the late GM Edmar J Mednis. I sent Rhine-Sprenkle and and my notes thereto to him, in the hopes that he could help me get the game into Chess Informant. He then sent it to Informant, and sent me a letter telling me of the two Pritchett games, which he informed me had been published in <The New Chess Player>. I had all the Informants at the time, but didn't have <The New Chess Player>, a competitor of <Chess Informant>. I had erroneously assumed that "all the games that were fit to print" would be in Informant, which was one of the preeminent chess publications at the time. Informant apparently felt the same way, since it deemed 18.Nxd6! a novelty (N) and its panel of eminent judges (all GMs except for one IM) later voted it one of the top 10 "novelties" of Volume 32. Bent Larsen voted it No. 1, and Robert Eugene Byrne voted in No. 2. The other judges were less impressed. (Possibly some didn't consider it a "novelty" at all, but rather old hat. I don't know.) I was happily surprised, since I knew it was not a new move, just new to Chess Informant. (The move hadn't even surprised David Sprenkle, who mentions in his November 23, 2011 comment to this game that he'd looked at the position after 21...Rg8 more than once in his home analysis.)

To recap: I didn't invent 18.Nxd6!, which I had seen in Levy's book and Pickett's pamphlet before playing my game against Sprenkle. Pritchett had played it twice before my game, and published his games in two volumes of <The New Chess Player>, which I hadn't seen. But Chess Informant deemed any move not in its pages a <Novelty>, so I in effect ended up, undeservedly, being credited as the inventor of this "novelty."

Nov-26-20  qqdos: <FSR> Many thanks indeed for such an informative (no pun intended) narrative. I don't think Chess Informant would accept your narrow definition of how they "deemed" a "novelty". The impression created was objective, cutting edge, first with the news, which was why so many professionals were avidly scanning its pages. I still cannot understand how Nunn didn't find the reference to Pritchett, who had been Scotland's top board for several years and must have been well known to the English team. BTW I can't trace The New Chess Player - Bill Wall doesn't have it in his very comprehensive list of chess magazines. You certainly drew the world's attention to "that" move and deserve credit for your annotations. Games from the 1978 Olympiad appeared in Chess Informant No.26 with Korchnoi winning the gold medal for board No.1 with the staggering score of 9/11 having been beaten by Karpov in Bagio City the month before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: As Russians used to say, a novelty is everything what has been already forgotten.
Oct-12-22  thegoodanarchist: GOTD Pun:

"Sprenkel's Not On Top."

Oct-12-22  thegoodanarchist: Oops, make that "Sprenkle's Not On Top".

Submitted with my misspelling, sorry.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Pretty good pun. I think <tga> should submit his for another Sprenkles game. I think it would flow better for a Sprenkles win, and not have the word "not".
Premium Chessgames Member
  PeterLalic: Wow - what are the chances? Mere minutes ago, I watched a blitz game between Rychagov and Schreiner: .

It opened 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nc3 e6 5.Nxd5 exd5 6.d4 Nc6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd5 Qb6 9.Bc4 Bxf2+ 10.Ke2.

click for larger view

I did not remember having ever seen this gambit before, so I was impressed. Immediately thereafter, I visited for the game of the day. Lo and behold the same 10 moves in F Rhine vs D Sprenkle, 1981!

Is this really mainstream theory? Apparently surprised, IM Schreiner played 10...Nd8 11.Rf1 Bc5 12.Ng5 Ne6. I preferred 10...0-0 by Sprenkle because he gained a tempo with 11.Rf1 Bc5 12.Ng5 Nd4+! 13.Kd1 Ne6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I'm delighted to see this game finally make GOTD. Thanks to <rapidcitychess> for suggesting the pun, and to <MissScarlett> for selecting it. This is my best OTB game, and easily my most theoretically important game. It was published with my annotations in Chess Informant (Volume 32) and cited in the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (Vol. B (2nd ed.) at 183 n.19). In Volume 33 of Chess Informant, my 18th move (18.Nxd6!) was voted the 8th-9th most important theoretical novelty in Volume 32. The game was also cited in MCO-13 and "The Aggressive Nimzowitsch Sicilian 2...Nf6" by Eric Schiller, and occupies an entire chapter in all three editions of "Beating the Sicilian" by John Nunn. It is game 218 in "1000 TN!! The Best Theoretical Novelties" (Chess Informant, 2012).
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Sparkling, indeed! Quite a fight, too; at times it appears that both players ignored each other's attacks.
Sep-26-23  goodevans: Great game <FSR>. Truly that's Rhine gold.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PeterLalic: This game demonstrates the importance of piece development and initiative.

click for larger view

White to move. Last: 28...Kg8

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Very impressive. It's a very good game and a high class TN.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Wonderful game, Fred!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Congrats on GOTD, FSR!
Sep-26-23  Damenlaeuferbauer: <FSR> A well deserved Game of the Day! You can be very proud to play such a brilliant game in over-the-board chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Congratulations FSR! I've known about this game for a long time, thanks to John Nunn. It's terrific, even if I never did learn to <Beat the Sicilian>.
Sep-26-23  sfm: Well played, FSR!

I recall a beginners book way back then:
1. Castle very early in the game.
2. Prevent attacks on the weakest point in your position: f2/f7 3. Do not try to attack before all your pieces are well developed. Hmm. It was a cheap book anyway.

Sep-29-23  VerySeriousExpert: Dear Mr. Rhine, I'm congratulating you a lot! Could you tell, please, what was your plan after the possible response 6...c4 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi FSR good game.

A while back I picked up 2nd hand ' The Greatest Ever Chess Opening Ideas' by Christoph Scheerer (Everyman 2008). I just went though it hoping to add to your list of citations.

The book concentrates on this game I A Kopylov vs S Korolev, 1981 and the move 5.Ne4.

In the notes the moves in your game up to move 21 are given but no names, just a jot saying this is now mainline theory, However here;

click for larger view

The author suggests 21...Rxd3+!? as a possible improvement giving a game J.Majer - P. Miskovsky, correspondence 1983 which ended in a draw.

Sep-29-23  qqdos: <FSR> Spoiler Alert: i leave it to your conscience to fill out the picture of that TN.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <VerySeriousExpert> I knew that 6...Nc6 was almost always played, and expected it from my opponent, a strong and knowledgeable player who liked to play this variation. I also knew that 6...d6 had been played in the spectacular game Keres vs W Winter, 1935, though I did not recall the moves.

I did not consider 6...c4, which is very rarely played and doesn't help Black's development. The typical response is 7.b3. If then 7...b5, White plays 8.a4 undermining Black's pawn chain, since 8...a6? 9.cxb5 is unplayable for Black. Or if 7...cxb3, 8.axb3 improves White's pawn structure. White will likely follow up with Bd3, O-O, and c4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Sally Simpson> Thanks. I had never seen 21...Rxd3+ and didn't consider it during the game. ChessBase Online has 75 games that reached the position after 21.Bg5. In 73, Black responded with 21...Rg8. White scored 76.7%. In the other two, Black played 21...Rxd3+. White scored only 25%! Tiny sample size, obviously. Stockfish 16 after thinking a while says that 21...Rg8 is best, 21...Rxd3+ is second best, and that both give White a winning advantage (+2.46 and +2.85, respectively).

I know 5.Ne4 is a move, but it always struck me as a cop-out. To my surprise, Stockfish 16 likes it a lot, and even seems to consider it significantly better than 5.Nxd5!

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